By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Hawaiian citizens of Pahoa are scrambling for cover, as the Kilauea Volcano spews a river of scorching lava that’s swallowing up their town. The 2,000-degree flood of molten rock is creeping at about 30 feet per hour, and has burned up fences, a cemetery, and several houses in its path.
See, when hot fluid called magma rises from beneath the Earth’s crust, it builds gaseous pressure in a volcanic mountain, eventually exploding. Once the magma comes out of the ground, it’s called lava.
Hawaii has called in the National Guard to maintain order near the volcano, ensuring that curious onlookers stay away from the molten goo and that thieves don’t try to rob evacuated homes.
Some of the most ancient and famous volcanic explosions include Mt. Vesuvius’ destruction of Pompeii in Italy back in A.D. 79, and Krakatoa blowing up in Indonesia with 13,000 times the power of an atom bomb. Even the mythical Lost City of Atlantis is thought to have been destroyed by the Thera eruption near Greece, around 1,600 B.C., in one of the biggest volcanic events ever.
Images courtesy of Greg Bishop on Flickr.